The government of Mozambique has threatened to sue a female artist who posted semi nude pictures of herself draped in the national flag.
Yolanda Boa, who is known for her daring way of dressing, marked Mozambican Women’s Day, celebrated on April 7, by releasing two semi-nude photographs of what she calls the “Mozambican Woman is Good” collection.
The photos caused immediate outrage online as they quickly spread on several social networks, until they reached the country’s ministry of culture and tourism.
Local media reported that the culture minister has threatened to sue the artist for insulting a national symbol.
“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism expresses the highest expression of vehement condemnation of this act, since the conduct followed by this artist does not in any way confer on the exaltation of the patriotic spirit of the Mozambicans; on the contrary, to denigrate the image, honor and prestige of our beloved homeland in the concert of the Nations,” the minister is quoted to have said.
The statement goes ahead to say that the ministry of culture and tourism would hold the authors of this ‘conduct of outrage to the national flag’ to account.
If the matter is taken up in court and Yolanda is found guilty of insulting the flag, she could be jailed for up to six months, as prescribed by the law.
The matter has caused stiff debate on social media between advocates of artistic expression who say Yolanda has not done anything wrong and those who support the minister’s position.
On Mozambican women’s day, this Mozambican artist decided to reveal these pictures with the national flag. Later on the same day, the minister of tourism, arts and culture (whom we rarely hear from) issued a statement threatening to sue her for “insulting a national symbol”.